Andrei Korobeinik returns to Riigikogu following Ott promotion to minister

Andrei Korobeinik.
Andrei Korobeinik. Source: ERR

Center Party MP Andrei Korobeinik will retain his Riigikogu seat after all, following the appointment of Anneli Ott (Center) to the post of Minister for Public Administration.

Korobeinik, who recently criticized Riigikogu procedures on allowing the two opposition parties, Reform and the Social Democrats, to exercise delaying tactics on a referendum on the definition of marriage, had to vacate his seat Friday after Mailis Reps' resignation as education minister meant she would be returning to the chamber.

However, the musical chairs continued Tuesday as Jaak Aab (Center) was appointed sideways, as new education minister, and Anneli Ott promoted from the Riigikogu bench to take Aab's place.

This meant that Korobeinik could return to his seat, the Riigikogu's office says.

Under Estonia's d'Hondt system of proportional representation, parties run lists in the various electoral districts, for elections to the Riigikogu. Those highest on the list who fail to win a seat can still enter the Riigikogu when the candidate who won the seat gets made up to minister (government ministers do not sit at the Riigikogu), hence Korobeinik getting his seat when Mailis Reps was reappointed education minister in late April 2019, only to briefly have to vacate when she returned, following Friday's resignation.

MPs get six months' pay when asked to vacate Riigikogu

A recent, similar chain of events saw Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) MP Urmas Espenberg donate his severance pay to charity following mounting pressure to do so. Espenberg had had to make way for Mart Helme following the latter's resignation as interior minister earlier in the month, only to come back a few days later when fellow EKRE MP Alar Laneman was appointed Helme's replacement.

In the intervening time, Espenberg had been due six months' severance pay, amounting to €26,000, which he was under no obligation to return to the Riigikogu, but in any case he opted to donate it to charities of his choice.

Andrei Korobeinik has, however, opted to waive this sum in the first place and has not received it between last Friday and Tuesday.

Andrei Korobeinik is a tech entrepreneur, former Reform Party MP and top chess player.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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